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Unpicking the Commission Process and the Opportunities for Collaboration

Unpicking the Commission Process and the Opportunities for Collaboration
Friday, April 24, 2015 - 10:00 to 12:30
Skainos, 239 Newtownards Road Belfast BT4 1AF

At a national level the amount spent on outsourcing services in the UK has doubled to £88bn since the coalition came to power. The voluntary and community and social enterprise sector (VCSE) currently receives four times more money through contracts to deliver services than from grants in the UK. 

At a regional level public purchasing through commissioning will continue to have a major influence in the growth of the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector. The current public sector reform process is an opportunity to increase the role and profile of the VCSE sector in the contracting and delivering of public services.

This roundtable will be an opportunity to review the benefits and challenges of VCSE’s collaborating through a consortium or partnership to bid in the commissioning process.   It will examine the trends, challenges and opportunities that commissioning presents both at a UK level and at a local regional level. 


9.30am – 10.00am          Tea, Coffee and Registration

10.00am – 10.15am         Introduction and Welcome, Nora Smith, CollaborationNI

10.15am – 10.30am         Eoin Heffernan, Chief Operating Officer, 3SC

The trends and challenges of commissioning that exist at a UK level.
A model of good practice model that promotes collaborative models of working in the commissioning of public services for the VCSE sector.

10.30am – 10.45am         Questions and Answers

10.45am- 11.15am           Mr Dean Sullivan, Director of Commissioning, Health and Social Care Board

A strategic overview of the commissioning process of health and social care services in Northern Ireland.  Examining the role and involvement of the VCSE sector in the commissioning process.

11.15am -11.30am           Questions and Answers

11.30am – 12.00pm         Jo  Marley, Director of Bryson Care, Bryson Intercultural and An Munia

VCSE perspective on developing a collaborative approach to participate in the commissioning process.

12.00pm – 12.15pm       Questions and Answers

12.15pm – 12.30pm       Nora Smith, CollaborationNI
                                       Summary, Next Steps and close



Eoin Heffernan


Chief Operating Officer, 3SC

As 3SC's Chief Operating Officer, Eoin leads on all business development, contact service delivery and communications and marketing activities.

Eoin has secured contracts for 3SC’s 3000 member organisations from the Ministry of Justice, The Welsh Assembly Government and the Department for Work and Pensions as well as outsourcing firms such as A4e, NGC and Interserve.

Prior to 3SC, Eoin held roles at the Big Lottery Fund and iVenus.com and he is currently a trustee for the Royal Association for Deaf People (RAD) 

Eoin has published several works including an article on civil society innovation for Benevolence in the 21st Century: The Beauty of Benevolence.

Born in Toronto, Eoin has also lived in London and Dublin and holds an MBA from Open University Business School, an MSc in Management from Cass Business School and an MA in Film Production from London Film School.


Dean Sullivan

Director of Commissioning

Mr Sullivan trained as an accountant with the National Audit Office in London. He then worked as a management consultant with Price Waterhouse and PA Consulting Group. In 2003 he joined DHSSPS, initially as Director of Secondary Care and then Director of Performance and Planning. He joined the Health and Social Care Board in 2010.


Jo Marley

Director of Bryson Care, Bryson Intercultural and An Munia

Ms Jo Marley is the Director of Bryson Care, Bryson Intercultural and An Munia Tober which are part of the Bryson Charitable Group.  Bryson is a large Social Enterprise operating throughout Northern Ireland.

Bryson Care provides children’s services, support to frail older people and vulnerable adults in the community and advocacy on behalf of adults with learning disability. Bryson Care employs 200 staff and has an annual turnover of £5M

Bryson Intercultural supports newcomer and vulnerable black and minority ethnic individuals and families and is the Northern Ireland provider of Asylum Advice and Support.  Bryson also supports the Roma community in Belfast, especially in the area of Health, Education and Advice, employs 10 staff and has a turnover of £250,000

An Munia Tober supports Travellers within the Belfast area, providing a range of health, employment and training, housing and youth services.  An Munia Tober employs 9 staff and has an annual turnover of £300,000. 

As part of Bryson’s collaborative approach to investing in social change within Northern Ireland, Ms Marley is the Chair of the V&C Sector Forum (NEET), Reablement Stakeholder Network on Transforming Your Care and the Social Work Strategy.  She is a member of the NISMP Board and Chair’s the Education and Learning Sub-group.   Ms Marley is also a member of the Belfast Taskforce on Traveller issues. 

Ms Marley previously worked for 12 years in the legacy North & West Belfast Health and Social Services Trust as a Social Worker, Senior Social Worker, Assistant Principal Social Worker and finally an Operational Manager before joining the Bryson Charitable Group.

Ms Marley has an MSc in Systemic Psychotherapy has a BA (Hons) History and Politics and is a professionally qualified Social Worker.


CollaborationNI was commissioned and financed by the Building Change Trust and is delivered in partnership by CO3, NICVA, and Stellar Leadership. For further information please see www.collaborationni.org